"Lets go. Weve got to report intelligence about Sect Master Lu to the League Master. Such destructive power surely cannot be the doing of a mortal. He must possess a Nobleman bloodline in his veins," Zhong Yunxiu, who had always been sparse in his words, opened in his mouth.
"Why cant it!?" Zhang Wuya retorted. "The path of martial arts is about raising ones strength till the limits of the human body, and then surpassing those limits through training. The weak become incredibly strong through the path of martial arts. So why cant the strong become even stronger through it?"
"No matter how strong, theres no way one can attain this degree of power," Guan Nian shook his head. "Sect Master Lus power is too unfathomably deep. The Emissaries who were mighty in our eyes couldnt even last a few seconds against him. Im afraid hes already someone of equal standing with League Master. This isnt something we can make wild guesses about. Come on, lets go."
"You fools! Fools!" Zhang Wuya jumped and stamped his feet in anger. No matter how he recalled Lu Shengs display of his abilities, they were the abilities of an amplified version of a pinnacle cultivator in both inner and outer force. If a Divine Prime expert well-versed in martial arts examined his moves, he would even have been able to tell that Lu Sheng simply relied on pure inner Qi and hard body skill. There was no Divine Weapon and Devil Blade, or the power of ghosts and demons, involved.
All that he used was the pure, orthodox power of the path of martial arts!
"Ive got to bring this news back. Those old guys in the league will surely gape in shock, hahahaha!!" his face turned ruddy as he laughed heartily. "This is the hope of the path of martial arts!! I knew it! There was bound to be someone like that! An ultimate master of multiple martial arts!"
"No matter what, Sect Master Lu saved us on this trip. We must not divulge what happened here!" Guan Nian stared at Zhong Yunxiu and the rest of the squad.
"Dont worry, Brother. No one will speak a word about it!"
"We have an irreconcilable feud against Ashoka Manor. No one will leak the news."
They all assented.
"On top of that, theres the matter about the traitor we need to report this to the League Master and screen the league for any untrustworthy elements like Zhang Peng!" Guan Nian said gravely.
Zhang Peng sprinted at top speed. On both sides, dark green foliage and vegetation flashed past him in a blur. Beams of light from the morning sun fell through the leaves, lighting up the entire woods.
He painted heavily, his face red with excitement.
"You seem very happy?"
Without warning, a calm voice rang out from within the woods beside him.
Alarmed, Zhang Peng nearly knocked into a branch and hurriedly rolled to the side on the grass. Only after several steps did he manage to stabilize himself.
"Whos that!!?" he shouted sternly, his eyes darting from left to right nervously.
Just then, the leaves and branches in a patch of shrubs in front of him were divided, and two people walked out.
The one in front was an old man with white hair. He looked like a slender scholar. Some beads of sweat were on his forehead and his breathing was heavy.
Looking left and right, he stepped aside, revealing the man behind him.
The second man that appeared in Zhang Pengs sight struck him with panic.
"You how were you able to catch up with me!?"
The second man who had just stepped forward was Lu Sheng, who had just parted ways with Guan Nian and Li Shunxi only moments earlier.
He stood with his hands behind his back, sizing Zhang Peng up with interest.
"Its a coincidence that this elder in my sect is an expert in the art of tracking. Although youre fast, you left behind too many marks. It wasnt difficult to catch up."
Cold sweat broke out all over Zhang Peng. He had witnessed Lu Shengs strength earlier when he halted momentarily to enjoy being a spectator. Little did he expect to witness that shocking and horrifying scene.
This man was basically a primordial beast in human skin. Slaughtering Emissaries was like killing ants for him. He was pure savagery and terror incarnate.
Although his heart was beating madly in his chest, he plastered a smile on his face.
"Sect Master Lu, why have you come after me? If you want intelligence about Ashoka Manor, I, Zhang Peng, do have some insider information even though Im just a nobody"
Lu Sheng smiled and signalled Elder Chen to take his leave first. Then, he strolled towards Zhang Peng.
His steps were slow and unhurried, but Zhang Peng did not dare to even budge. He had seen Lu Shengs speedsomething he could never hope to match. Hence, his only way to survive would be to stand still obediently.
In a few seconds, Elder Chen vanished into the forest, leaving only Lu Sheng with Zhang Peng in the clearing.
"Why dont you tell me what pieces of intelligence of you have? If Im satisfied, I can consider letting you go," Lu Sheng stood still several meters before Zhang Peng, gazing at him with interest as if he was staring at some pet.
Zhang Pengs hair stood on end. He felt like a bug that could be squashed any time. Frozen in fear, cold sweat flowed from his cheeks to his chin, then dripped and drenched his clothes. Zhang Peng did not dare to scratch the itch caused by his dripping sweat.
"I II know that Ashoka Manor has planted a few agents in Martial League. Im just one of them!" Zhang Pengs voice quivered as he stared at Lu Sheng. Terror gripped him like a vine, creeping and crawling up from his feet, locking down his body. Even his speech was impeded.
"Oh? Tell me about that," Lu Shengs eyes lit. Now this was something that he could use to exchange for more resources like martial arts manuals from Martial League.
Stuttering, Zhang Peng said a series of names, none of them ever heard by Lu Sheng.
After commuting them to memory, Lu Sheng walked one round around Zhang Peng. "Thats all?"
"I I also know that Ashoka Manor promised to give me a Divine Weapon shard after this is over! I"
"Divine Weapon shard?" Lu Shengs curiosity was piqued. "And whats that?" he made no effort to hide his ignorance.
"Its a remnant shard from a destroyed Divine Weapon. The League Master of Martial League, Qin Wumian, has a big piece of Divine Weapon shard lodged in his body. Thats why hes been able to maintain his strength without decline. Hes been cultivating inner Qi only in search of a better way of integration that could replace the Ritual Offering!" Zhang Peng hurriedly explained. At the mention of League Master Qin Wumian, a hint of shame flashed across his eyes. Although he had turned his back on Martial League, he remained full of respect for him.
"I dont dare to wish for a large piece, just a tiny one to keep my familys bloodline from declining will do" Zhang Peng mumbled with his head bowed. Although he was puzzled why Lu Sheng would ask about such general knowledge, he continued to pour out everything he knew.
"And then?" Lu Sheng continued asking, growing in interest.
Zhang Peng stared at him blankly, grit his teeth and shook his head.
"Thats all I know"
Without warning, a palm carrying terrifying force rammed into the side of his face.
Zhang Pengs entire body flew into the air, slamming on the large trunk of a tree on his back. With a crack, his spine broke and his body landed with thud on the ground. He was clearly unable to get up anymore.
A mouthful of blood gushed out of his mouth. In the blink of an eye, his black membrane had been ripped apart by that palm. Drenched in his blood which carried Bind poison, the grass withered to its roots swiftly.
Lu Sheng pulled his hand back, the smile on his face long vanished.
"You trash! You wasted my effort in hunting you down for so long. Thats all you have for me?"
"Your servant your servant" Zhang Peng struggled to speak. But the slap earlier was too forceful. His tongue was snapped, filling his mouth with blood. He could no longer speak clearly.
"Think again. Think hard. I like to listen to new things. Different things," Lu Sheng smiled again. "Dont let me down," he walked slowly, step by step towards Zhang Peng.
"I I" terror flooded Zhang Pengs face. Seeing Lu Shengs approaching deer-hide shoes, he began trembling from top to toe involuntarily.
"Lu Sheng! Who gave you the guts!"
Abruptly, a deep growl rang out from behind Lu Sheng.
Momentarily caught off guard, Lu Sheng slowly turned around to look at the speaker, an eccentric smile on his face.
"And here I was wondering who it might be. So its the esteemed Lord Officiator."
He looked into the depths of the woods with composure. A silhouette had appeared in that spot at some unknown point in time.
A white-haired old man missing his left ear stared intently at him, his face ugly.
"If I hadnt come in person out of worry, I wouldnt have guessed that youre the reason for this failed ambush!" the Officiators voice rang out like the toll of a loud bell. His stature looked formidable, with a bronze staff in his hand and a pitch-black half-body armor on his top which barely covered his chest. Dragon patterns on the armor reflected a silver glint under the morning sun.
"What makes you say that, Lord Officiator? Your subordinate is merely taking a stroll here to kill some time," Lu Sheng smiled.
"Kill time?" the Officiator glanced at Zhang Peng, who was hanging on to his life by a thread. His eyes turned grim and sinister. "I thought that Shangyang Family was the one going against us in the dark. Never would I have guessed that it was you."
He spun the bronze staff in his hand slowly, then pointed its end at Lu Sheng.
"My Violet Golden Dragon Staff hasnt seen daylight in a while. Ill take it out for a few swings on you!" the muscles on his body began expanding. Gradually, a layer of fine white hair began growing out all over his body, which seemed a fold larger than before. Thick streams of Qi materialized and encircled him, blowing away the leaves and vegetation around him in all directions.
"Youve misunderstood me, Lord Officiator. How did I go against you? Your servant does not understand at all," Lu Sheng replied casually.
"Still acting?" gripping his staff in both hands, the Officiators white hair continued to grow and lengthen until it reached his waist. A raw blood-red hue colored both his eyes. Suddenly, he arched his back slightly and spun the bronze staff quickly, pointing one end towards the ground and the other beside his cheek.
"But it doesnt matter anymore now. Whether or not it was you"
The end of his staff aimed at the ground began glowing red.
"Coiled DragonNinth Secret!!" the Officiator bellowed. The red glow on the end of the staff grew eye-piercingly brilliant. He stabbed it into the ground.
A gigantic earthen dragon broke through the soil and into the air as it charged at Lu Sheng.
Trees shuddered and blades of grass whipped about. Before Lu Sheng could react in time, he was rammed into by the meter-tall earthen dragon.
Large quantities of soil erupted and swallowed Lu Sheng.
With a flash, the Officiator caught up with the dragon-like a phantom and smashed his staff right in the middle of it.
The dragon immediately exploded outwards into falling clumps of earth and stone, revealing a large pair of greenish-gray hands clutching firmly onto the bronze staff. At the spot where the hands and staff made contact, a layer of white dust erupted and thoroughly dispersed all the dust and dirt around it.
"Well, Ive been sick of the sight of you for a long time too Come on, lets have a good fight!" gradually, Lu Shengs gigantic and savage Yang Extreme Mode body entered into view. Near three meters tall, he no longer looked anything like a human as he stood before the Officiator.